Venue: Hayes Lane Date: 16-03-24 Bromley FC 0 Harriers 0 Att: 2628 (away fans: 130)

16-03-24. Bromley FC 0 Kidderminster Harriers 0. Match report

Harriers play out an uneventful goalless draw at Hayes Lane

Report: Harry211

Two of the league’s best defences played out an uneventful goalless draw at Hayes Lane as Kidderminster Harriers picked up a point on the road in their bid to avoid relegation. It means the Harriers are now without a win in four and have only scored two goals in that run. A draw against a high flying Bromley FC would normally be welcomed – but it means safety is still two points away ahead of a trip to fellow strugglers Wealdstone FC in the ever-tightening battle to beat the drop.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas got his first start after a promising cameo against AFC Fylde on Tuesday evening, with Gold Omotayo also rising into the starting lineup. Jack Lambert and Sam Bellis dropped to the bench while Alex Penny had his first start since an illness, and he provided a man-of-the-match performance as he continues to progress under Phil Brown.

The first half, not unlike many in recent weeks, was played with little fanfare. The pace of the game was pedestrian and neither side stood out, despite the twenty five point gap between the two although Bromley had the better chances in the opening forty five minutes.

Just before the ten minute mark, Ashley Hemmings lost the ball to the impressive Idrus Odutayo. His teammate Olufela Olomola picked up the ball with an overlapping run down the left wing, racing to the byline before squaring to Michael Cheek who put the ball wide of Christian Dibble’s goal. Then came the moment where Harriers fans’ could be forgiven for thinking they had conceded when a ball across the face of goal by Jude Arthurs was turned in by Olomola, but luckily the linesman’s flag had been raised for offside.

HT: 0 – 0

The second half saw the Harriers finally shake off their shackles and try to attack Bromley. The first sight of goal came as Krystian Pearce headed a Caleb Richards cross tamely at the Bromley keeper Grant Smith.

Phil Brown tried to change the game and pulled off Omotayo after an ineffective performance and Emmanuel-Thomas who showed some nice touches behind the striking duo but struggled to impose himself on the game.

Shortly after came the best Harriers effort of the game. Richards won the ball in the centre of the field, and after a rare passing move, saw Hemmings pick the ball up on the right. He played a ball back to Jack Lambert who advanced into the area and hit a thunderous effort towards goal. However it was straight at Smith’s goal and caught well by the former Yeovil Town keeper.

Not long afterwards Amari Morgan-Smith found himself unmarked on the right side of the area but his shot, after Richards’ pass, was blocked by a Bromley defender.

There was one final moment where the away side threatened to break the deadlock. Sam Robinson, on for Hemmings, had surged down the right in tandem with Sam Bellis, with the on-loan striker cutting the ball back across the area to an unmarked Robinson. As the fans held their breath waiting for Robinson to test he keeper he sidefooted an effort straight over the bar into the stand.

The result was an impressive one for Harriers when taken in isolation. There was little difference between Brown’s side who have not been outside the relegation zone since September and Bromley who will be one of the favourites to go into the Football League after the playoffs. But with eighteen points to play for the Harriers will be eyeing ten of those to ensure safety.

After unimpressive results against fellow strugglers in recent weeks, they will have hoped to make the most of a trip to a side who were likely to play more openly. However the first half was turgid and the second one only slightly better. Wealdstone up next will be another test from a side who have spent their season looking downwards rather than upwards.

Rather than approach the game looking to not lose in recent weeks, fans could be forgiven for hoping for a return of the pressing, high-intensity approach taken against Oldham Athletic than compared with the more conservative play of recent weeks. Goals have been hard to come by and the situation is unlikely to improve unless they create chances. Then again, we’ve got an experienced head in charge who knows what he’s doing and has got us into an unthinkable position with a handful of games remaining.

Strap yourselves in, it should be an exciting ride.

FT: 0 – 0

The Harriers Online MotM is: Alex Penny

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Latest table and stats here

Bromley FCGoalsSubsTimeCards
Arthurs 64 
Olomola 75 
Taylor-Hart 75 
Dennis 64 
Omotayo 56 
Hemmings 83 
Emmanuel-Thomas 61 
Lambert 56 
Bellis 61 
Robinson 83 
Mr Andrew Humphries